Local SEO Strategies that Every Small Business Owners Should Try out
To succeed in SEO, it is critical to understand audience behavior by monitoring it closely. Audience behavior can have various patterns by understanding which you can create your SEO strategies to target the audience most effectively. Searches have gone through enormous changes over the years, and the recent trend is local searches. To match the audience expectation, Google modified the way it displays search results by making it more and more local based that revolves around local businesses. Google also introduced the concept of local SEO that is popular among small businesses. It is nothing different from traditional SEO except that it serves the interest of local businesses.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO aims at ensuring that searchers can find your business when they are ready to buy something from sources located close to them. The searches that typically include the term ‘near me’ have high buying intent, which is why it is most attractive for businesses. Besides, there are some other attributes of local searches that give it an identity, and it can even contain some geotagged elements like city name, state name, zip code, etc. Google picks up the hints about the location from the searches and serves information that matches the geographical criteria. According to the experts at Mike Wiseman SEO, the popularity of mobile phones has boosted local searches significantly as studies show 95% of local searches originate from mobile devices.
Give time to build local SEO
SEO launching might happen quickly but to allow it to spread wings, you must give it time. You need the foresight and perseverance to establish it on a firm footing gradually. There is too much competition in local SEO that is also changing very fast. It means that you must devise proper strategies to withstand the competition and even beat it. The goal is to popularize your business with search engines first and then automatically; the audience would also like it.
How you can create strategies by considering various factors that help to roll out a stable local SEO campaign that gives a cutting edge in the competition is what you can learn from this article.
Directory listing is a must
The more people hear about your business, the more would they be familiar with it for which you must ensure that the name of your business spreads far and wide. The best way of doing it is to enlist your business in online directories like Yelp, Google My Business, City Search, Angie’s List. YP.com etc. Searchers not only depend on search engines but also refer to business directories to find the business they are looking for. Often it is easier to locate businesses from directories that can pinpoint the specific needs of searchers.
When your business appears in online business directories, it is an endorsement of its legality that generates trust among search engines and improves rankings. Provide detailed information about your business from name, address, and telephone number to e-mail address, website address, and also the business hours, products and services, credentials, and photos. However, you must ensure data stability by maintaining accurate data across all platforms and directories because erroneous data can erode the confidence of users.
Online reviews are crucial to help users form their opinion about products and services. You must pay close attention to the reviews published online, which people deem as a great source of impartial information. The majority of buyers refer to online reviews to know the good and bad about products and services. So, Google too attaches a lot of importance to it and even includes it as a ranking factor. Put a system in place for gathering real customer reviews that provide feedback that you can use for improving products and services. Encourage customers to provide frank and unbiased opinion even if they have to say something that you may not like. Respond to reviews according to its merit so that it demonstrates your intention of serving customers by bettering your products and services.
Optimize Meta tags and title
The permalink and URL is the most potent source of information for searchers to make out if the link is worth exploring. No one would like to waste time clicking on links without knowing what they can expect from it. Like the URL which must be descriptive to hint what the content is about, Meta descriptions and the title assume a lot of importance. Since the titles and Meta descriptions briefly describe the content by carrying significant hints about it, users expect a lot from it. You must create titles and Meta descriptions in such a way so that users can quickly understand how relevant the content would be for them.
Add local flavor to titles and Meta descriptions by including geo-tags in it and strategically insert the keywords too by choosing to place it closest to the beginning. Follow the best practices in creating titles and Meta descriptions by adhering to the specified limits of 160 to 200 characters for Meta descriptions and 50 to 60 characters for titles. Maintain clarity in the description so that it is easy to understand.
Create local content
Since your business focus is local, so also should be your content that should have local elements included in it. This helps in easy identification of the content that connects with the needs and expectations of users. Regardless of the type of content, it must have local flavors. Understand the buyer’s journey to create appropriate content that they would like and find very useful.
Stay active on social media
Your social media activity impacts your business, and you must utilize social media to drive more traffic to your website. Be active on the social media channels that your audience like. Use most of them as you can interact with them closely and gain their trust to build relationships that lead to business betterment.
Keep reviewing your performance after implementing the strategies to find out what ways of improvement.